Dr. Uwe Marx is being honored with the Russell and Burch Award
Maastricht, Netherlands, 02.09.2021
Today, Dr. Uwe Marx received the 2021 Russell and Burch Award for the advancement of replacement, reduction and refinement of animals in research from the Humane Society of the United States. Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues for the HSUS handed over the prize virtually, noting, “Dr. Marx is widely recognized as a scientific pioneer with outstanding contributions to the reduction of animal testing in his 30-year scientific career. He is well-deserving of this award and we look forward to Dr. Marx’s future scientific contributions, which will undoubtedly benefit both humans and animals.” The awardee receives a $5,000 prize money and a plaque. Dr. Marx has generously chosen to donate the prize money back to HSUS to support young scientists in the field of alternative methods.
The award ceremony concluded the 11th edition of the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences where Dr. Marx in his talk in session S115 refined the theoretical framework for the establishment of a human organismoid-on-a-chip – a miniature, mindless and emotion-free self-contained physiological in vitro equivalent of an individual’s mature human body.
Deeply touched by the award, Dr. Marx stated that his teams “deserve this award in equal measure.” He said: “The award motivates me even more to achieve a biotechnologically mature organismoid-on-a-chip platform still within in this decade. I am enthusiastic that we can deliver personalised organismoids for every individual in need to our next generations.” Thus, human organismoids are envisioned to become an ultimate alternative to replace the majority of testing in laboratory animals and human volunteers.
About Uwe Marx
Uwe Marx is the founder and chief scientific officer of TissUse, a 2010 spin-off from the Institute of Biotechnology of the Technische Universität Berlin. He is a physician by training and received his medical approbation and doctorate degree from the Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany, at the beginning of the 1990s. He is a serial entrepreneur who has repeatedly founded biotech spin-offs from his academic groups over the last 30 years, always with the passion to translate scientific discoveries considering animal welfare and patient benefit. Dr. Marx’s first team at Charité developed disposable bioreactor-based antibody manufacturing technologies and contributed to the ban of ascites production in Europe in the late 1990s. Nowadays, patients in clinical trials are continuously benefiting from innovative biologicals manufactured at the GMP facilities of ProBioGen, his spin-off from that period. A microfluidic human artificial lymph node model developed and implemented at ProBioGen supports animal-free immune reactivity-testing of new biological entities. Dr. Marx’s next team at the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, Germany, established GMP-compliant umbilical cord blood stem cell preservation and differentiation technologies. Numerous young patients have since benefited from umbilical cord blood transplants, provided by VITA 34, the spin-off of those activities. The combination of human organ engineering, stem cell technologies and microsystems engineering finally led to the spin-off TissUse from his last academic team at the Technische Universität Berlin. TissUse has translated assays, based on the HUMIMIC® multi-organ chip platform, into a countable reduction of animal testing in preclinical environments of customers. His next development target is the establishment of personalised organismoids on chips – the ultimate solution to replace the vast majority of animal testing and phase 1 clinical trials in volunteers and substantially increase the precision of personalised medicines.
TissUse is a TissUse is a Berlin, Germany-based, biotechnology company, which has developed a unique “Multi-Organ-Chip” platform that provides unparalleled preclinical insight on a systemic level using human tissues. This enabling technology platform consists of a miniaturized construct that closely simulates the activity of multiple human organs in their true physiological context. TissUse’s Multi-Organ-Chips provide a new approach to predict, for example, toxicity, ADME profiles and efficacy in vitro, reducing and replacing laboratory animal testing and streamlining human clinical trials.
TissUse’s Multi-Organ-Chips have been utilized in a large variety of applications including drug development, cosmetics, food and nutrition and consumer products since 2012.
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